Washington, D.C. – Emily Barson, Executive Director of United States of Care, issued the following statement in response to the recently announced congressional agreement to hold consumers harmless from surprise medical bills.
“United States of Care is excited to learn of this bipartisan effort to address health care costs, including holding people harmless from surprise bills. This will protect Americans from financial hardship brought on because of unexpected and unaffordable out-of-network medical expenses.”
“Considering Congress is close to a bipartisan agreement illustrates the impact of what happens when you set aside politics and focus on people’s needs. We’ve seen legislatures take different approaches to fix surprise billing in 27 states, and we are excited to see United States of Care’s theory of change – that people-centered health policies developed and implemented in states can and should inform efforts at the federal level – in action.”
“Most importantly, the potential legislation is aligned with United States of Care’s core principles because it protects patients from financial devastation.”
Besides protection from surprise bills, this legislation includes other important provisions, such as
- Creating a national campaign to increase awareness of the effectiveness of vaccines.
- Holding consumers harmless from outrageous air ambulance bills.
- Raising the tobacco purchasing age to 21
- Improving health care price transparency for consumers and employers.
- Establishes an all-payer claims database with broad access to its information.
- Prohibits pharmacy benefit managers from engaging in the practice of spread pricing which contributed to Ohio’s Medicaid program overpaying for drugs by $208 million in 2018.
“We look forward to this agreement becoming final and appreciate Members of Congress for putting people over politics.”